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There is already a date for the beginning of the impeachment of Donald Trump

The opening arguments in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump in the Senate over the mutiny in the federal Capitol will begin the week of February 8, the first time that a former president will face such a process after leaving office.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans, who had pushed to delay the trial to give Trump a chance to organize his team of lawyers and prepare his defense. before the only charge against him: inciting an insurrection.

The February start date also gives the Senate more time to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominees to his cabinet and to examine the high-priority $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid bill. on the agenda of the new White House that could stall during the impeachment process.

“We all want to leave behind this terrible chapter in our nation’s history,” Schumer said of the deadly invasion of the Capitol on January 6 by a mob of Trump supporters.

But healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability. And that’s what this trial will provide, “he added.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the impeachment article Monday night, and senators will be sworn in to serve as jurors on Tuesday. But the opening arguments will be postponed until February.

Trump’s impeachment would be the first of an American president who is no longer in office, a venture his Republican allies in the Senate allege is futile, and even potentially unconstitutional.

Democrats say they have to hold Trump to account because of the gravity of what happened: a violent attack on the federal Congress in order to revoke an election.

If Trump is found guilty, the upper house could vote to ban him from holding public office again, affecting his chances of returning to politics.

Democrats’ urgency to hold Trump to account was compounded by the need to mount the Biden administration and quickly start work on his coronavirus relief package.